Massive rockslides shut Colorado road

Colorado Highway 119 remains closed this morning from MP 26-41 in the Boulder Canyon as crews assess the area and work on breaking apart the SUV-sized rocks that fell on the highway Tuesday evening. 

 

The road is closed from MP 26-41. The northern detour is CO 72 to Lefthand Canyon Drive and CO 72 south is the southern detour for the area. The closure is expected to be in place most of the early part of the day with an assessment coming later based on cleanup work. 

 

The initial geologic assessment shows the rock face where the boulders came from is stable and no additional rock scaling or removing of rocks will be needed from the face of the mountain. 

 

Cleaning up the rocks that fell will be the issue of the day. Most of the larger rocks will need to be blasted and, because the area of the fall is very narrow, all of the material will need to be hauled away instead of just being pushed out of the way. 

 

While this rock fall did not happen in the area where CDOT is working on the permanent repair from the 2013 flood, the contractor for that project, Zak Dirt, does have equipment and resources on hand to deal with the rocks, so they are handling much of the major cleanup work. 

 

From the initial assessment, it does appear there was damage to the roadway, so paving work will have to take place after the rocks are removed. 

 

The slide happened during heavy rain and snow in the area referred to as the Narrows and is not in the project area where CDOT has been doing permanent repair work from the 2013 flood. No people were injured, and no vehicles were reportedly damaged. find out more at dailycoloradonews.com

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